In divorce cases in Minnesota, parenting time is often a contested issue. Most courts now have a shortened process called “Early Neutral Evaluation,” which is intended to provide a streamlined resolution to the problem of parenting time. With an agreement by the parties, the Courts can make an order requiring the parties to participate in an Early Neutral Evaluation. This is a four hour meeting that is similar to mediation, but at the end the evaluators (usually there are two of them) will give their professional opinion about what parenting time should look like.

In my experience, the mistake that most people make is not adequately preparing for the Early Neutral Evaluation meeting. I spend about two hours preparing my clients. I am surprised at the number of times an opposing party is unprepared for the evaluation. Poor preparation results in an unwanted outcome for a party.

There are many things that the evaluators consider, and the average person getting divorced does not know what most of these things are. The evaluators look for subtle ways of communicating, and subtle comments, that could reveal who is the better parent, or the parent who is willing to cooperate in raising children jointly.

If you have questions about divorce and parenting time in Minnesota, you should call my office to set up a free initial consultation. My number is (952) 270-7700. My office is in the Carlson Towers at the intersection of I 494 and I 393 in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Daniel M. Fiskum has been practicing divorce and family law in Minnesota since 1992. He has been named a “Super Lawyer.” He is a 1992 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. He is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and American Bar Association, Family Law Sections. Call (952) 270-7700 now to schedule a free divorce case analysis.